Google Details Employee, Product, and Cybersecurity Response to Attacks in Israel
Today, Google has shared its response to the terrorist attacks in Israel which started on Saturday. Through an internal email, Sunder Pichai (CEO of Google) has addressed employees, upon the company continuing to provide updates on the situation.
CEO Pichai sent the message at 6:30 A.M (IST) on Saturday, which was too late as the situation started on Friday.
I’m sure by now you’ve all seen the news of the terrible attacks on civilians in Israel, and the escalated conflict now underway. Google has two offices and more than 2,000 employees in Israel, and it’s unimaginable what they are experiencing right now. Our priority is making sure that every Googler in the area is accounted for and safe — beyond our employees based locally, we have identified more who were traveling there. GSRS is continuing safety checks as we speak — locating every employee and ensuring they have the best security information we can offer from our experts. We’ve spent today connecting with most of them, but it will take some time to reach everyone.
Google has two offices in Israel, one in Haifa and another one in Teo Avai with more than 2000 employees. The remarkable product work in the country includes Chip Design and Waze. Along with this, there are research groups that are focused on NLU (natural language understanding), machine learning, and machine perception across Healthcare, Crisis, and Search.
During the weekend, Google started the process of contacting all the employees, who were living there and who were visiting that region at that time. This was a part of the internal response after disasters and global events. We understood that It has completed these safety checks and spread security information to them.
On the other hand, Google makes sure YouTube, Google Search, and other of its platforms provide “unreliable info in the breaking news and moment of crisis”.
Our teams are working around the clock to ensure this, as well as to detect and remove graphically violent, hateful or terrorist content, or coordinated disinformation campaigns.
Additionally. Google Cloud’s Mandiant (problem solver) cybersecurity division detected fake accounts connected to Iran. These fake accounts that are connected to Iran are promoting anti-Israeli narratives across different services. Moreover, they are also investigating reports of DDoS ( distributed denial-of-service) attacks by suspected pro-Hamas and pro-Russia Hacktivist groups (a group of hackers fighting for a specific cause) targeting Israeli government websites.
The full statement from Google is mentioned below:
“Following the terrible attacks in Israel, our immediate focus has been on ensuring our employees’ safety. We’ve now made contact with all of our local employees, and we’ll continue supporting them. We’re also working to provide reliable, accurate information to people who use our products. Our systems across Google and YouTube prioritize authoritative information in moments of crisis and breaking news. Our teams are working around the clock to ensure this, as well as to detect and remove graphically violent, hateful or terrorist content, or coordinated disinformation campaigns. Our cybersecurity experts are also sharing their findings in real time with the broader security community. For example, our security unit, Mandiant, has observed fake accounts connected to Iran which are promoting anti-Israeli narratives across various services, as well as investigating reports of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks by suspected pro-Hamas and pro-Russia hacktivist groups targeting Israeli government websites. Our thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones, and all those affected.” — GOOGLE SPOKESPERSON